Because of course that happened: Columbus erases three goal deficit on Dubois hat trick

After one of their most dominating and complete performances of the entire season, the Maple Leafs were looking to push Columbus to the brink of elimination on Thursday night.
First Period
In an encouraging trend, the Maple Leafs came ready to play from first puck drop. Most noticeable at the start was Auston Matthews, who over the span of his first shift had a zone entry, a shot that was blocked that resulted in a Cody Ceci chance in the slot, a beautiful back-check, and a blocked shot of his own. Throughout the series we’ve seen Matthews coming low in the defensive zone to support his defencemen and that first shift was a great illustration of his 200-foot play this postseason.
Speaking of coming to play, the fourth line of Kyle Clifford, Jason Spezza and Pierre Engvall created havoc and chances seemingly every time they hit the ice. On that line’s first shift of the game, Engvall carried the puck around the perimeter of the zone and threw it into the crease, where it bounced around and couldn’t be found by CBJ netminder Joonas Korpisalo. Clifford and Spezza were in the mix jamming away …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Game 1 Analysis: The Raptors controlled the key match-ups against the Sixers

A dominating win to start the Raptors’ second round series had a lot of familiar and predictable storylines — most of them good for Toronto. Entering the second round on the 2019 NBA Playoffs with the Raptors, we had some expectations as to the key match-ups against the Philadelphia 76ers. We also knew of some patterns from the first round to keep an eye on, particularly with Toronto. So, how did that play out?
Let’s check in with some analysis on the Raptors’ performance after a dominant Game 1 win.
Whose Turn Is It Anyway?
In each of the first round games, the Raptors had one of their stars have a tremendous impact on the game, handily winning their minutes while the team struggled without them. Let’s see if that pattern continued.
Player | On-Court RTG | Off-Court RTGKawhi Leonard: +34; -57Marc Gasol: +54; -35Kyle Lowry: +32; -53
RTG: Net rating, team point differential per 100 possessions
Each of those three had an on-vs-off-court swing of 85 to 90 points per 100 possessions, all monstrous numbers. It was a real team effort for the Raptors this time, with no single leader in this metric.
Obviously there were a couple of key producers in this game, with Kawhi Leonard …

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Author: Daniel Hackett / Raptors HQ

Blue Jays spank Athletics but lose Matt Shoemaker to injury

The Blue Jays continued their hot play, dominating the Athletics with a 10-1 win, but that was overshadowed by the fact Matt Shoemaker left the game after hurting himself while involved in a rundown in the third inning with Matt Chapman.

Things worth mentioning…

First and foremost, we’ll talk about Shoemaker. Shoemaker tossed three scoreless innings, scattering three hits while striking out one. The last out he recorded came in the third inning while involved in a rundown with Matt Chapman. Shoemaker was pulled from the game immediately and has since been diagnosed with a left knee sprain. His injury was much similar to the one Brett Cecil suffered back in Game 2 of the 2015 ALDS against Texas. This is a really, really shitty blow for Shoemaker, who has been incredible so far this season. Toronto’s off-season reclamation project has a sparkling 1.57 ERA through five starts and is pitching his best since he earned Rookie of the Year consideration back in 2014. There’s a heartbreaking video of a visibly angry Shoemaker getting treated by Blue Jays staff. Obviously, anybody is going to be pissed about getting hurt on a play like that, but it stings even more for Shoemaker …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation